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Not Wanting Competition, Travis Henry Stopped Showing Up

So says Bill Williamson on Hashmarks -

The Broncos' decision to release Travis Henry this morning has been coming for months. Broncos insiders said the team had been unhappy with Henry virtually all spring. In a rare statement about a released player, Denver coach Mike Shanahan made a point to say Henry had a lack of "commitment" to the team.

The final straw came in the past week when Henry stopped attending the team's OTA sessions. Yes, Henry was hurt with a hamstring injury he suffered 17 days ago, but injured players are required to show up for work. Henry didn't. Perhaps he was upset that he knew he had to fight for playing time with Selvin Young, Ryan Torain and Michael Pittman. Whatever the reason, the team tired of Henry's lack of dedication.

The Henry experience in Denver was one giant disaster. After he signed a five-year deal with more than $12 million in bonuses, Henry's days in Denver began to get rocky last August when it was disclosed in a Georgia court that he had fathered nine children with nine different mothers in a six-year span.

In early October, the Broncos received a major distraction when it was disclosed that Henry had tested positive for marijuana use and was subject to a one-year NFL suspension. Henry was leading the NFL in rushing after four games at the time of the bombshell. After two long months of distractions, Henry won an appeal of the suspension. Still, he was never the same running back after the story broke. He didn't have a 100-yard game the rest of the season and was plagued by nagging injuries.

The Broncos decided to keep Henry this offseason but reduced his salary to $1 million. Denver's decision to sign Pittman last week was a sign the team was heading toward this move.

Monday, it did. It will be a surprise if Henry ever plays in the NFL again.

With Henry one strike away from a year's suspension and with all the bad publicity, teams will not want to sign this player who at 29 is showing signs of wear and tear. Shaun Alexander, who has no off-field issues hovering over his head, can't get a job, so Henry will be especially challenged finding work. The only chance Henry gets a job is if a desperate team wants him and he agrees to a minimum salary.

This is truly a shame. Henry came to Denver with a lot of promise. He fit the Broncos' zone-blocking system and the team was fully committed to him, but he made one mistake after another.

Sounds alot like what most of us have been saying. Travis Henry simply did not have the heart to compete with the younger guys and fight for his role on this football team. Whether you believe this or not, to me Shanny knew he was going to do this at the first sign of trouble. He wanted to reduce the salary of both Henry and Walker heading into 2008. Walker balked and thus the Broncos had to eat his cap charge. Henry took the bait, but quickly got out of favor, coming to OTA's out of shape, then getting "hurt".

These are exactly the type of "me first" players the Broncos NEED TO AVOID. From the looks of it, Mike Shanahan agrees.